Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Week 27/52- Part 2 - Gascoyne & the Pilbara - River camp and iron ore

Good morning everyone. I have decided I need to include Part 2 of week 27, because I have a few extra photos I wanted to share. We are continuing north along the Great Northern Highway, and these photos are between Cue, our last destination, and Karijini National Park, our next destination.

Here is our camp for the night - the Gascoyne River. It is my favourite free camp heading north and we have camped here several times. Because it is a free roadside camp there are no facilities, but the beauty of the camp site always makes it a place we enjoy. We have a fire and cook marshmallows over the coals. It is gorgeous to wake up to the sound of bird song and the rising sun streaming through the trees.

Here is a photo I took early morning with a perfect reflection on the river, looking across to our camp.

From Life Images by Jill

Another photo from the Gascoyne River camp. The water level in the river rises and falls dependant on the season. You can see the bare roots of the trees on the river bank.

From Life Images by Jill

Although I love the Pilbara, I have a hard time driving up here because of road trains. These massive trucks take up a lot of road space both in width and length. Sometimes they have 4 trailers on behind the prime mover. You need a lot of clear straight road to be able to pass. You see lots of them coming either direction carrying machinery like this one, or covered trailers carrying supplies to the northern towns. My husband knows they make me very uncomfortable trying to pass so he does most of the driving up here. We had already passed this convoy down the road and when we stopped to get fire wood they went past us again. Lucky we were near to camp.

From Life Images by Jill

Newman is the centre of the iron ore region. This is one of the iron ore trucks. Huge aren't they?

From Life Images by Jill

This flower is the Mulla Mulla. You know when you have entered the Pilbara when you start seeing the Mulla Mulla. They are everywhere. There are different varieties ranging from this larger one, to smaller ones, also white. That is the Hamersley Ranges you can see in the background of this photo.

From Wildflowers

This is driving through the Hamersley Ranges - they are rich in iron ore and recognised as one of the oldest weathered surfaces on earth. The ranges are notable for their distinctive horizontal bedding where layers of red, black and brown iron form bands of colour with conglomerates and sandstone.

From Life Images by Jill

And this is an iron ore train we had to stop for - I forget how many carriages I counted, but it took a long time to cross. These trains are commonly 2 km long and have three diesel engines hauling 200 cars each of which carries 100 tonnes of ore. - approximately enough iron ore to construct about 15 000 family cars.

From Life Images by Jill

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Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this tour around Western Australia. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for taking the time to comment.